What Twitter Can Learn From App.net's Developer Incentive Program

Twitter makes a lot of money out of me. At least, I assume so. The code I helped write, and the sites I run, are used by millions of Tiwtter's users. I've sent a tonne of traffic their way, and what has Twitter given me?

Not even a "thank you."

Seriously, no one from Twitter has ever said "Thanks for all the customers. Thanks for helping develop our presence in certain markets. Thanks writing tools that keep our users playing on our service. Thanks!"

Compare and contrast to App.net. The owners of that service have just written me a cheque for $74.
app.net earnings
I know, I know! I'm not making Zuckerberg money off that. If I'm lucky enough to get that every month, I'll have enough to buy myself a really fancy bottle of wine. But, hey, it's a start.

App.net have hit on a cunning plan to keep developers engaged - as part of their Developer Incentive Program every month they take $20,000 and divide it between developers based on user ratings.

So, my two apps - Dabr for Android and Dabr for Mobile Web - have netted me 0.3% of the developer pot. Sweet!

More importantly, they said thank you!

Of course, App.net has a small catch. There's a fee for joining.
App.net Fees

The fees aren't onerous - and are lower than they were - but I accept that the current pricing excludes many people.

As a developer, I like the fact that the App.net API is consistent and works really well - unlike the unloved hodge-podge that is the Twitter API. The issues list is taken seriously, and they seem to act on the feedback they actively solicit.

As a user, I like the community. I like the lack of advertising. I like the features (muting, streaming, ability to see who has starred a message, properly threaded conversations, etc) which are all conspicuous in their absence from Twitter.

The only thing it's missing is you. So join App.net today!

I've written before about how Twitter has abandoned those who helped make it a success. Ewan Spence has written brilliantly on how developers are now being shut out of the Twitter.

Just imagine if Twitter paid third party developers. Twitter are shitting themselves that non-official apps will steal revenue from them. Well, duh, the developers have to put food on the table. What if, instead of trying to shut down the people bringing value to the network, they reflected how much they were worth by paying them.

Or even, you know, tried saying "thanks" once in a while.


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